PETER Cope will have a new opponent for his first fight back in his hometown since becoming a boxing champion.
Cope became the International Masters super-bantamweight champion last time out when he outpointed rugged Redcar man Gavin Reid at the Stadium of Light in July.
And the 21-year-old had been due to take on South Shields star David Lake in another North-East derby at the Borough Hall on Sunday, September 30.
However, Lake has been forced out of the show after being stopped in the last round of his fight with another Hartlepool-based prospect Tommy Ward last Sunday in Newcastle.
Boxing’s strict medical rules prevent from Lake boxing again for 30 days so the event promoters have had to go out and get another opponent.
Cope will instead tackle Michael Stupart in an England v Scotland battle.
And it promises to be a cracker, with the 28-year-old from Dunfermline having been involved in several “wars” in a short career.
The Gus Robinson Developments boxer’s title will not be on the line but the gym’s head coach Peter Cope said he was expecting a “tough” six-round battle for his undefeated son at the Headland venue.
“Michael’s record is not a great one on paper, but I’ve seen this kid and he can fight,” said Cope.
“He’s had a draw which looked a bit dodgy and his points defeats have been really close.
“I know his manager, Carl Greaves, and he says Michael’s had no luck so far.
“He’s had a win and draw and five defeats but he’s far better than his record suggests.
“People would assume he was a journeyman but he’s a kid who comes to fight and is ambitious.
“I’m confident Peter will have the ability to get the win but it will be no formality - this is a tough fight.”
SEE Saturday’s Mail for full story